Bristol Jupiter radial
2- 7.7 mm
33 ft. 11 in.
When, in 1926, the British Air Ministry issued a request for an aircraft, manned by a single pilot, that would be capable of intercepting invading bombing aircraft, the Bristol Aircraft Company submitted its Bristol Bulldog design. Ideally the Air Ministry desired a fighter that could fly at night, as well as the day. It was to have at least a pair of Vickers machine guns for offensive purposes.
The initial Bristol Bulldog that took to the sky on May 17, 1927 was the Mk I prototype. It proved a capable aircraft, and with few modifications met or exceeded the Air Ministry requirements. Once completely satisfied with the initial design, production Bristol Bullldog aircraft, designated Mk. II began rolling off the Bristol assembly line.
On June 11, 1929 the Bristol Bulldog with a 440 hp radial engine was deployed to Upavon where it served in Number 3 Squadron. The aircraft proved such a success, it soon began replacing older RAF fighter aircraft. The Bristol factory produced a total of 92 of these aircraft.
By 1932 Bristol Bulldog aircraft were deployed with stronger wings and fuselages plus a radial engine producing 50 more hp than previous models. A total of 268 of these aircraft, designated Mk. 2B, were produced. At their height of deployment, all Bristol Bulldog aircraft combined for approximately 75 percent of Great Britain’s fighter air power.
The Bristol Bulldog was one of the first production aircraft ever to be equipped with cockpit oxygen and a two way radio. It had a fabric covered metal fuselage.
The primary mission of the Bristol Bulldog was as an interceptor. Ten British RAF squadrons were comprised of the aircraft. It was the primary fighter of the RAF from 1932 to 1936. When the Bristol Bulldog was replaced by more modern front line aircraft, it continued to serve as a training aircraft through the start of World War II.
In addition to Great Britain, Australia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Siam, Spain, and Sweden all flew the Bristol Bulldog.
There is a record of Bristol Bulldog aircraft seeing action starting in 1939 with the Finnish Air Force while flying against Soviet aircraft during the Winter War. Their combat record was a loss of one Bulldog while downing six Soviet fighters. They were withdrawn from active service soon after initial action, but continued on as trainer aircraft for the Finns.
A total of 443 Bristol Bulldog aircraft of all types were produced.
The Bristol Bulldog scratch built by Ian Turney-White has a wingspan of 192 in. and weighs about 170 lbs. To make the airplane easier to transport, Ian constructed it with a removable tail section. It has a JPX 425 cc twin engine swinging a 44 x 12 propeller.